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1992 Geo Metro Won't Start; Died While Driving
Topic Started: Aug 30 2009, 08:27 PM (3,525 Views)
Geodude
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Young Metro Lover
[ *  * ]
Year and Make: 1992 Geo Metro 1.0L 3-cyl. Automatic

Current Status: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTL4QenLl4U

Story: Turned on the car backed out of the drive to proceed to work. I pulled out onto the road and not even a block into my drive the engine went quiet. I heard no knocks, clicks, dinks, or whatever. My wife and I jumped out of the car into the rain and pushed it into a parking lot. All cabin lights + head lights are functioning normal.

The last time this happened to me was in a 1998 Plymouth Neon 4-cyl. automatic. The culprit in that scenario was low oil. I checked my Geo's dip stick to discover the oil was oddly high. I would say about an inch and a half over the HOT marker. The consistency seemed thin and light yellow-brown colored.

A neighbor thought it was a bit watery looking. Being an uninformed individual I performed my first oil change to see if that helped. It did not. I'm sure many of you are thinking "duh." lol. I don't mind running around in circles if new experiences are added to my sash in the process. I also replaced the oil filter I might add. The oil on the dip stick reads the same - 1-2" above the HOT marker.

Grrr!

Things to Note
:
-I had no Check Engine light or anything prior to this incident. Now I have Check Engine, Battery and Oil lights on. I'm familiar with the Trouble Code/Diagnostic reader devices one can get at a auto parts shop. However, from my reading those are for cars made in 1995 and after. Do these devices exist for my year and make?

-I examined the fuses under the hood and everything looks good. Typically there is another location of fuses inside the cabin but I did not find any.

-The coolant cap was not attached leaving the container open. The coolant quality/color appears normal. Some tubing isn't connected. Pics below...
http://www.mypicx.com/08302009/Coolant/




-Geodude
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Johnny Mullet
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Hi-Tech Redneck

To do self diagnostics, read this.............
http://geometroforum.com/topic/638390/

I would see if you have spark first.
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Bad Bent
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Facetious Educated Donkey

Hello Geodude! :coffee
That fuse box you are looking for is just above and to the left of the drivers left knee. Yes, it's white and it should have a cover on it. Then follow Johnny's link.Posted Image

Just FYI on the oil filter, we usually take some new or used oil on the tip of your finger and lubricate the rubber gasket on the oil filter. Keeps the rubber from sticking to the engine block. That coolant hose goes down alongside front of the battery. The battery tray should have a clip it slides through, just for overflow. Oh, 5W30 or even 10W30 oil can look watery compared to a 40 or 50 weight oil.

I test for spark by pulling a plug wire connect a spare spark, ground it on the engine, while holding just the wire crank the engine, look for spark. But it wants to turn over so the next item after spark is fuel, wet plugs, and the fuel pump should make a brief spinning(?) noise with key in first position, dash lights on but not cranking.

A friend used to say 'When confused, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.' :lol
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Woodie
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Your timing belt is broken. It's under that black plastic shroud on the extreme left of the engine as you look at it from the front (passenger side).

Your oil dipstick doesn't have a "hot" mark, as a matter of fact, I don't see your oil dipstick in the youtube video. It should be a yellow loop sticking up between the valve cover and air cleaner left of center as you look at it from the front. Automatic transmission dipstick will have a "hot" mark, maybe that's why it didn't change when you changed the oil.


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Coche Blanco
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Does anyone know what it would be 1" higher? How much oil are you putting in it.
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iamgeo
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Is that a fact....or just a rumor?

It could be the timing belt is bad or really loose and it jumped a couple teeth on the timing gear.
Some timing belt covers on these cars have a rubber plug you can remove to look at the timing belt. If yours has one remove it. you will see the belt. Stick your finger in there and push on the belt, it should be tight. If it is loose you have a problem. If you can not even see or feel the belt it is broke.
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Geodude
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Lots of informative replies - thank you. With the large emphasis on timing belts that is the first thing I checked out. In the picture you'll see I am missing a drive shaft belt. Assuming thats important to start the lil' guy? Headed to the zone and picked up 2 belts to fit. Thats it for today.

Tomorrow I will check those fuses bad bent pointed out. Install these 2 belts and check the timing belt as woodie advised. If these belts do the trick maybe not. :D And yes... that was transmission fluid I was dippin. Haha. I could not find the oil dipstick but I'll try again tomorrow.

Pictures: http://www.mypicx.com/08312009/nodriveshaftbelt/

Cheers,
Geodude
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Bad Bent
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Facetious Educated Donkey

The missing belt is the Air Conditioning belt. Goes around the three pulleys in picture #3. In #1 that cover with the bar code can has two bolts holding it at the top (9 & 3 o'clock), you can remove them and gently pull the cover back to see if the timing belt is OK. Should not be able to move it with you finger.
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iamgeo
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Is that a fact....or just a rumor?

Looks like you have the type of timing cover that does not have the rubber plug on it.
Here is a really easy way to tell if the timing belt is broke. Take off the oil filler plug from the top of the valve cover. Look into the hole and you can see the camshaft. Have someone crank the engine. If the cam is spinning the belt is not broke.
Although, from the pics you supplied for us, it appears you have some major oil leaks. I imagine that the crank seal and the cam seal are probably leaking. Along with the valve cover gasket. When the oil gets on the timing belt it degrades it rather quickly.
Edited by iamgeo, Aug 31 2009, 09:17 PM.
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Geodude
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All fuses are normal. Check back for timing belt status this evening.
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Geodude
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Here is my oil and a shot of timing belt. Looks brand new... :ermm:

Pictures: http://www.mypicx.com/09022009/stickandbelt/

EDIT: All three spark plugs look normal.

Pictures 2: http://www.mypicx.com/09022009/sparkplug/

EDIT2: Video of the "Check Engine" light and it reads No Faults Found.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrKrNifl40g

Edited by Geodude, Sep 2 2009, 06:07 PM.
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Bad Bent
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Facetious Educated Donkey

All that oil, begs the question do you have a driveshaft position sensor? Located on the passenger side of the oil pan. That may have gone out if you have one.

That spark plug looks dry. Actually it looks to clean for having been used. You can hook up a timing light to a plug wire and point it into the Throttle Body and pull the trigger while cranking it to see if the injector is squirting fuel.

Will it start with the exhaust manifold disconnected? The Cat./resonator/muffler may have plugged.

My question is what would cause catastrophic failure while driving. Your ECM and starter seem to be working.
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Geodude
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I have no spark. That is all to report. Stay tuned...
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Johnny Mullet
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Pulling back the cover like that means nothing. The belt could still be attached, but all the teeth worn off and riding the gear. Make sure the belt and cam is rotating (look through oil cap) while someone cranks the engine.
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Geodude
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Took off cap to see if the rotor was doing its job. Spins fine. Looks clean. Used sand paper to make it sparkle.

Pictures:
http://img40.imageshack.us/img40/2442/capnrotor001.jpg
http://img524.imageshack.us/img524/1589/capnrotor002.jpg

EDIT: I tried to get a spark from the ignition coil and there was none. Battery is excellent. Whats next? I am losing juice somewhere between the coil (assuming thats in working order) and the battery.

The zone couldn't test my coil is that right? This elderly gentlemen helped me and he has been wrong on offered services in the past.

Cheers,
Geodude~
Edited by Geodude, Sep 4 2009, 01:42 PM.
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